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Xenophon, Anabasis (ed. Carleton L. Brownson), Book 1, chapter 7 (search)
trenchIt would seem that the rapid approach of Cyrus had prevented the King from completing the trench. had been constructed by the Great King as a means of defence when he learned that Cyrus was marching against him. Accordingly Cyrus and his army went through by the passage just mentioned, and so found themselves on the inner side of the trench.
Now on that day the King did not offer battle, but tracks of both horses and men in retreat were to be seen in great numbers.
Then Cyrus summoned Silanus, his Ambraciot soothsayer, and gave him three thousand darics; for on the eleventh day before this, while sacrificing, he had told Cyrus that the King would not fight within ten days, and Cyrus had said: “Then he will not fight at all, if he will not fight within ten days; however, if your prediction proves true, I promise you ten talents.Hence 10 (Attic) talents = 3,000 (Persian) darics. A talent was 60 minas, and therefore a mina was counted equivalent to 5 darics. The discrepancy between
Xenophon, Anabasis (ed. Carleton L. Brownson), Book 5, chapter 6 (search)
ore speaking about it to any of the soldiers, he offered sacrifices, summoning for that purpose Silanus the Ambraciot, who had been the soothsayer of Cyrus.
Silanus, however, fearing that this thing Silanus, however, fearing that this thing might come to pass and that the army might settle down somewhere, carried forth to the troops a report that Xenophon wanted them to settle down, so that he could found a city and win for himself a name and power.
As for Silanus, his own desire was to reach Greece as quickly as possible; for the three thousand darics, which he had received from Cyrus at the time when he sacrificed for him and hadn to speak before you and to act regarding this project, or not to touch the matter at all.
Now Silanus, the soothsayer, answered me in respect to the main issue that the omens were favourable (for hr. And whoever is of this opinion,” he continued, “let him raise his hand.” Up went every hand.
Silanus, however, began shouting, and attempted to say that it was fair for any one who so chose to lea<
Xenophon, Anabasis (ed. Carleton L. Brownson), Book 7, chapter 4 (search)
hers would lay on with their clubs, which they carried, so it was said, to knock off the heads of hostile spears, and still others would be setting the house on fire, meanwhile calling Xenophon by name and bidding him come out and be killed, or else, they said, he would be burned up then and there.
And now fire was already showing through the roof, and Xenophon and his men inside the house had equipped themselves with breastplates and were furnished with shields and swords and helmets, when Silanus the Macistian, a lad of about eighteen years, gave a signal with the trumpet; and on the instant they leaped forth with swords drawn, and so did the Greeks from the other houses.
Then the Thracians took to flight, swinging their shields around behind them, as was their custom; and some of them who tried to jump over the palings were captured hanging in the air, with their shields caught in the stakes, while others missed the ways that led out and were killed; and the Greeks continued the pu